Posted by Will Brinson
GREENSBORO, NC -- Webb Simpson has an insane amount of talent. He showed that Saturday when he carved up the back nine en route to taking a two-stroke lead at the Wyndham Championship.
You could forgive him if he was confident, cocky or even arrogant. But the most amazing thing about Webb? As he chases a somewhat elusive first win on the PGA Tour, he remains one of the most humble athletes you'll ever meet.
"You know, the way I look at it, if God wants me to win, then I will," Simpson said following Saturday's round. "If not, I'll have plenty more opportunities. I'm just going to rely on my faith and if it's my time, great we're going to go out there and win by 10 shots.
"If we come up short, then it's just the way it's going to happen."
And don't bother painting him as Tim Tebow 2.0, even if Webb's caddie may or may not read him scripture on the course. He's a down-to-Earth kid who understands that while golf might be looking around for it's "next Tiger Woods" every time a youngster's career starts to take off, that it's not up to him to force himself into a role like that.
"I don't put any pressure on myself to be a superstar or anybody else," Webb said Saturday. "I think that kind of stuff just happens depending on how good you become and how early you become good."
Well, Webb is really good. And he's really good early in his career -- despite having never won on Tour, his résumé is shaping up pretty nicely. Two second-place finishes, six top-10's, 14 top-25's into the season, he's 12th in the Fed Ex Cup standings (before the Wyndham) and 14th on the Tour's money list.
Not too shabby for a guy who celebrated his 26th birthday just 12 days ago. But despite that crazy success, he remains as level-headed as a 10-year veteran of the Tour.
"I think I'm just learning how to be a better player, a more consistent player," Simpson said. "I think the biggest difference in me this year is that my bad days are around par when last year it was a totally different story. My good rounds aren't any different from last year."
Alright then. How about the stress that comes with waking up Sunday with a lead?
"The few times I've been in this position I've slept great," Webb said. "It's been a long day. I'm pretty tired. So hopefully I'll go to bed and sleep great. Our baby gets up at 7 [a.m.] so thats's kind of my alarm clock."
This is how he thinks. Practical, even-keeled and yet uber-talented -- all the things America thought they had in Tiger Woods for so long. That's not to say Webb's the "next Tiger." It's stupid to think like that and it's why, in nearly every sport, talented young players fall short of what we want them to be.
But he is a superstar in the making. It's just that no one's noticed yet because he goes about his business so quietly and doesn't let expectations from the outside affect his game, mental or physical.
"I look at it more of this is what I do, how can I get better, how can I improve, what's going to make me be out on Tour and be one of the best players in the world for 15 years?" Webb said. "I kind of keep it day-by-day and the only thing I'm worried about right now is the first tee shot tomorrow.
"That's kind of the way I look at it."
That's why Webb Simpson isn't a household name yet -- he's got bigger things to worry about than being famous. But if he can carry the momentum over from Saturday into the final day here in Greensboro, he might not end up with much of a choice in that matter.
Because once he gets the experience of protecting a lead on the final day, you can expect the wins to come as quickly as the birdies on the back nine did Saturday.
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